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Forgiving monsters: The Dutroux Case

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2015 2:40 p.m. MDT

In this March 3, 2004 file photo, accused Michelle Martin, ex-wife of convicted rapist Marc Dutroux, attends a hearing at the Palace of Justice in Arlon, South East Belgium. A court in Mons, Belgium, has decided Tuesday, July 31, 2012, that Michelle Martin, the former wife of the notorious Belgian paedophile and child killer Marc Dutroux, will be released from prison early. Michelle Martin can leave prison under strict conditions after serving more than half of her sentence, and will work in a Belgian convent.  (Yves Logghe, file, Associated Press) In this March 3, 2004 file photo, accused Michelle Martin, ex-wife of convicted rapist Marc Dutroux, attends a hearing at the Palace of Justice in Arlon, South East Belgium. A court in Mons, Belgium, has decided Tuesday, July 31, 2012, that Michelle Martin, the former wife of the notorious Belgian paedophile and child killer Marc Dutroux, will be released from prison early. Michelle Martin can leave prison under strict conditions after serving more than half of her sentence, and will work in a Belgian convent. (Yves Logghe, file, Associated Press)

Our take: A comprehensive look at the religious undercurrents of a horrible criminal case in Belgium.

One of the most notorious criminal cases in modern European history has returned to the public eye, dominating the front pages and leaders of Belgiumís newspapers. A judge has agreed to release Michelle Martin from prison on the condition she enter the Convent of the Les Soeurs Clarisses de Malonne (Poor Clares) and remain under police supervision.

The news of the parole has prompted an appeal by state prosecutors, public protests, outrage in the press ó and the mayor of Namur has ordered police to guard the convent. Why such a fuss? The opening paragraphs of a solid AP story tells us why.

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